I taught another fun “Tacos and Tequila” class at vomFASS’s DelecTable here in Madison on Wednesday, and as I was watching the news this morning I realized why I had planned it for this week. It’s because when I was working on my Hemmachef Fall 2019 cooking class schedule I had noticed that October 4th was National Taco Day. So Happy Taco Day!
And of course if you are able to drink legally what goes better with tacos than tequila? Well, beer does hold its own with tacos, but “Tacos and Beer” doesn’t have the same alliterative resonance that “Tacos and Tequila” does. I have been doing “Tacos and Tequila” classes every season now for the last year or so. They have done really well and it’s been fun to come up with great new ideas for tasty tacos for each class. I make sure to change the menu each time so folks who love tacos can take it again and again. I’ve had several folks who have taken this class each time, which is always a delight!
My opinion of tacos has come a long way since I was a kid. But I’ve always loved them. Taco night at our house was great. We would get the yellow box that contained the hard corn taco shells, the packet of taco seasoning and if I remember correctly, it also included a small packet of taco sauce. Dad would fry some hamburger meat with the taco seasoning, cut tomatoes into dice, shred some Iceberg lettuce and grate fresh cheddar cheese. I don’t exactly remember if he cut up some raw “unnies” (onions) to go with the tacos, but generally speaking, whenever there was a chance to add raw onion to anything, he did. He would then heat the shells and we would each assemble our own tacos to be enjoyed together as a family.
One year I went to a Taco Birthday Party at my friend John’s house. We were all about 11 or 12 years old and what was the most memorable part of that special occasion was that his parents fried corn tortillas and formed them into taco shells right in front of our eyes. I was so impressed and was excited to tell my parents about it–thinking we might try it. Well, there I was thinking again. That’s as far as that idea went.
I have to confess that I still don’t make homemade shells in my taco classes, although I think about it each time I do Taco classes for kids and teens, in addition to my (adult) “Tacos and Tequila” classes, and especially in the kids classes we have made homemade tortillas from scratch. Maybe one of these days I will make homemade shells, too. But I usually just fall back on the fact that there are so many great tortillas to be purchased out there, especially some local brands that I love to support. I have the same opinion about beer. Somebody has already figured it out really well, so I’ll just keep supporting them.
So I spend my time and effort coming up with great recipes for incredibly yummy fillings for the tacos. Here are some of the tacos and fillings we have prepared in “Tacos and Tequila” classes: Maple Glazed Butternut Squash Tacos with Bacon and Brie; Grilled Chili-Rubbed Pork Tacos with Crisp Apple Salsa; Double-Shell Tacos with Refried Beans, Tomatillo Chicken and Aged Wisconsin Cheddar; Baha Fish Tacos with Creamy Chipotle Lime Sauce; Apple Pie Tacos with Cinnamon Crème Chantilly; Fried Potato Tacos with Goat Cheese, Tequila and Chives; Tempura Tuna Tacos with Gingered Shiitake Mushroom Confit and Wasabi Cream; Duck Confit and Brie Tacos with Tomato, Garlic and Tequila Concassé; Grilled Zucchini and Eggplant Tacos with Baby Spinach and Avocado Mousse.
Does that make your mouth water? It definitely makes me want to start celebrating National Taco Day right now! And I won’t rest on my laurels (or my tortillas, either). Watch my website and Facebook page for more great classes featuring new and delicious tacos.
Here is the recipe for one of my favorite taco fillings (so far). Try it with a cold Corona with a wedge of lime and a shot of tequila of course! Enjoy!
Fried Potato Tacos with Goat Cheese, Tequila and Chives
1 pound potatoes of choice, peeled and cut as needed
Water to cover
3 tablespoons olive oil
Pepper to taste
4-6 ounces goat cheese
1 ounce tequila
1 tablespoon minced chives
Corn and/or flour tortillas, warmed
Method: Boil the potatoes in salted water until just tender. Drain well. Cut into dice when cooled. Heat the three tablespoons of oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the diced potatoes and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally until browned and crisp. Meanwhile combine the goat cheese, tequila and chives. Mix well. Assemble tacos as desired.